Every year since I first started swimming with Masters, Coach Bob has been pushing his swimmers to participate in the Postal Challenge. I've never even considered it previously. This year, however, I was intrigued.
The past couple of months, my swimming distances have been increasing. Whereas I typically swam 1600 - 1800 meters in the past; most recently I've been between 2200 - 2600 meters. I thereby knew it was a definite possibility - I just did not know what to expect.
The Postal Challenge is 3000 yards = 2743.2 meters. In October, I hit 2700m once - but of course this was with many rest breaks. I suppose I could take breaks - or change strokes - but I really didn't want to do that.My girlfriend and I kept splits for one another. As a runner, I had a vague idea of how to pace myself and but she was concerned so I encouraged her to go first. I knew if she were to go in the 2nd heat, her nerves would get the best of her. She did awesome. She finished in 56:10!
My only goal was to finish under an hour. She is a stronger swimmer than I by far and after her solid performance, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to finish within 60 minutes.
I tried to keep track of my distance but lost count the first 1000. When I finished the first 1000, my girlfriend flagged me with the kick board. I was able to stay on track on the second 1000. When she flagged me the next time (at 2000), I was feeling pretty good. My hands ached a little and my lower back nagged me a little on the left side... otherwise, I was good.
The last 400 though, my goggles started to really pinch and I started to get a headache. That made it difficult to concentrate on my form - my hand position for the pull. I just tried to relax and focus on my reach. I touched the wall and saw the signal for 1 more lap... I tried to give it all I had. There wasn't much left. In the end, I finished in 57:36. I take it!
Next year, though - I'm aiming for under 50!